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Re: Tax writeoff for Open Source Developers?
Brett Glass wrote:
> >Additionally, I don't believe that favoring the tax break means that
> >monetary reward is a motivation.
> Then why offer a tax break?
As I said, it acts as a "thank you" to the people offering what amounts
to a public good. In other words, people shouldn't be penalized or
taxed on income that they use to generate a public good.
Another example of this type of "fair-taxing" policy is how moving
expenses are tax deductible. Since you are moving, and this is a big
expense, you can deduct it. Computers, internet time, etc. are all
fairly big expenses, so you should be able to deduct it.
To me, the computer should be a one-time deduction, and internet
time/web space should be deductible as needed.
I think it's an idea that merits some further exploration.
As for your "businesses can't reuse because of the GPL" stuff, well,
companies are proving you wrong daily. Take a look at IBM's recent
offerings, as well as their recent commitments to working with companies
such as RedHat to offer support and *enhancements* to Linux and Apache
(yes, I know Apache's licensing terms).
Your argument is not working in reality.
The restriction that you so object to is still there in a variety of
other licenses. For example, the license that Sun, Netscape, IBM and
others are using to Open Source their products restrict business reuse
of the code. Quite frankly, though, the number of product are
multiplying, and the technical advancements being made are going further
each day. Jikes, which has never been offered free, contains many
features not available in other compilers. Mozilla has a brand new
display engine which is supposed to push commercial browser technology.
*** AND they're paying their programmers quite well, from all reports
(see job ads for any of these companies... nice salary ranges) ***
As of right now, it looks like you're going to be wrong about the
detrimental effects of Open Source without reselling rights (i.e.
> On the other hand, perhaps "free" software which businesses cannot
> reuse due to the GPL ought to be taxed, to remediate the harm it
> does to innovation and programmers' livelihoods.
------ Sujal Shah ---- firstname.lastname@example.org
Unite for Java! - http://www.javalobby.org